Big Push on Pasifika Educational Participation and Achievement Shows Results
Media Release: 30 May 2014
More than 800 Pasifika students studied with WelTec last year and this year has seen a significant increase in enrolments from Pasifika compared to previous years. This is mainly attributable to the partnership WelTec has with Pasifika Churches and communities in the Wellington region.
“We already have 620 Pasifika students enrolled and we have two intakes to come – one in July and another in November. In 2013 Pasifika participation rates increased over the previous year and this trend is likely to continue this year,” says WelTec Chief Executive Linda Sissons.
“Pasifika students are studying at all levels from certificates through to degrees. They and their families are seeing the value of an applied tertiary education with us. An education that leads to careers in industries as varied as creative technologies, youth work, construction and engineering.
“Educational attainment is also up on previous years with Pasifika course and qualification completion rates only a few percentage points behind the total student population. At levels 1 to 3 where the majority of our trades training is provided, Pasifika are doing really well with qualification completion rates exceeding the total student population. Course completion rates are only 1% behind the total student population.
“We are seeing big improvements in study success for Pasifika and I would attribute this to learning support and mentoring we provide along with our Pacific teaching staff who work alongside the students. The pastoral care provided by Church Ministers has proven very valuable in terms of encouraging students to continue with their studies and have family and community support,” says Linda Sissons.
“Leadership by the Pasifika Churches and communities has made a big impact on the number of students choosing applied tertiary education. Over the last two years the Pasifika Churches have strategised and worked with us encouraging and supporting Pasifika to enrol in trades training,” says Linda Sissons WelTec Chief Executive.
Reverend Nove Vaillaau of the Fellowship of Samoan Ministers Wellington Region has worked with WelTec and Whitireia for more than two years and promoted vocational training to Pasifika communities. “This collaborative model works well for our Region. Our hope is that by working with tertiary institutions our young people will achieve academic success,” says Reverend Vailaau.
“The This is Home report issued this week by The Salvation Army shows Pasifika are achieving higher rates of academic success at NCEA and UE level. Whilst this is encouraging the high rate of Pasifika NEETS (not engaged in education, employment, training or caregiving), particularly for females is very alarming. We are working hard to address this and vocational training is part of the solution for these young Pacific people. Providing fee scholarships is one way of addressing youth participation in tertiary education and this is where the Pasifika Trades Training initiative can really make a difference,” says Reverend Nove Vaillaau.
“This year we will have 100 Pasifika studying at WelTec and Whitireia under the Maori and Pasifika Trades Training scholarship programme. Students have their tuition fee paid by the government and on completion of a qualification we work with our partners to find them a job and pathway them into higher learning,” says Reverend Nove Vailaau.
“Over the last two years 100 Pasifika graduated with a trades qualification from WelTec. WelTec had the highest qualification completion rate of any institution across New Zealand participating in the Pasifika Trades Training initiative. WelTec along with Whitireia had the largest share of Pasifika students in relation to the size of the Wellington region’s population compared with other providers involved in the initiative. The group also comprised a greater diversity with 5 Pacific nations represented.
“This year we will have 50 Pasifika studying with WelTec under the Maori and Pasifika Trades Training scholarship programme. Students have their tuition fee paid by the government and on completion of a qualification we work with our partners to find them a job and pathway them into higher learning,” says Reverend Nove Vailaau of the Fellowship of Samoan Ministers Wellington Region who is working with Pasifika Churches and communities on behalf of the Consortium.